10 Dressing Ideas for Your Costume Party
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Embrace Retro Styles
  2. Transform into Movie Characters
  3. Mimic Pop Culture Icons
  4. Become a Fairy Tale Character
  5. Dress Up as a Famous Historical Figure
  6. Get Inspired by Comic Book Heroes
  7. Incorporate Animals and Mythical Creatures
  8. Try out Sci-Fi and Fantasy Roles
  9. Opt for a Classic Horror Character
  10. Explore Creative DIY Options

Do you have a costume party coming up, and you're scratching your head on what to wear? Well, you're in luck! This blog is a treasure trove of thematic dressing ideas that will make you the star of any costume party. Not only are these ideas fun and exciting, but they also allow you to express your creativity and individuality. So, let's dive right in and explore these dressing ideas together.

Embrace Retro Styles

Our first stop on this whirlwind tour of thematic dressing ideas is a throwback to the past - Retro Styles. Retro dressing is all about bringing back to life the fashion trends of yesteryears. Whether it's the flapper style dresses of the 1920s or the bell-bottoms of the 1970s, retro outfits are a hit at costume parties for their nostalgic appeal.

  • 1920s Flapper: Think Great Gatsby! For ladies, a sequined dress with fringes, a feathered headband, and some pearls will do the trick. For gentlemen, a three-piece suit, complete with a hat and a pocket watch, will give you that dapper look.
  • 1950s Greaser: The Greaser look is all about leather jackets, white t-shirts, and denim jeans. Don't forget to slick back your hair and add a pair of black sunglasses for that rebellious vibe.
  • 1970s Disco: It's time to bust out your funky patterns, bell-bottoms, and platform shoes. A sequin jumpsuit for the ladies and a brightly colored suit for the men will have you ready to hit the dance floor.

Remember, the key to nailing these retro looks is in the details: the right accessories can elevate your outfit from good to great. So, don't be afraid to add those finishing touches — a vintage brooch here, a pair of retro sunglasses there. It's all about having fun and embracing the spirit of the era. Happy dressing!

Transform into Movie Characters

Our next thematic dressing idea is for all the movie buffs out there. Why not step into the shoes of your favorite movie character for a day? It's a fun and exciting way to pay homage to the films that you love. Plus, it's a guaranteed conversation-starter at any party. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Harry Potter: Grab your wizard robes, put on your round glasses, and don't forget your wand. You're all set for a magical night!
  • Wonder Woman: Put on a red and blue costume, wear a golden tiara, and carry a lasso. You're ready to save the world!
  • Indiana Jones: With a fedora hat, a leather jacket, and a whip in hand, you can embark on your own adventure.

Remember, the best part about dressing up as a movie character is the chance to embody their characteristics and quirks. So, go ahead and practice your spells, your superhero moves, or your adventure skills. It will not only make your costume more authentic, but it will also add to the fun of the party. So, lights, camera, action — it's time for you to shine!

Mimic Pop Culture Icons

When it comes to thematic dressing ideas, another exciting route is to mimic pop culture icons. These figures have left a significant imprint on our society, making them instantly recognizable and a huge hit at any costume party.

  • Elvis Presley: Known as the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis' iconic look with a white jumpsuit and slicked-back hair is sure to make you stand out.
  • Marilyn Monroe: Channel the classic Hollywood glamour with a white halter dress and a blonde wig. Don't forget her signature mole!
  • Michael Jackson: From his shiny glove to his red leather jacket, MJ's Thriller era look is a fantastic choice for a costume party.

These pop culture icons have distinct styles and personalities, giving you plenty of material to work with. It's not just about the clothes, but also about capturing their essence. So, put on your blue suede shoes, practice your moonwalk, or perfect your best "happy birthday, Mr. President" impression. You're sure to be the life of the party!

Become a Fairy Tale Character

Next on our list of thematic dressing ideas, why not journey into the magical realms of fairy tales? Fairy tale characters are timeless, making them a fun and imaginative choice for your costume party.

  • Cinderella: With a blue ball gown and a glass slipper, you can embody the grace and charm of this beloved princess.
  • Little Red Riding Hood: A red hooded cape and a basket in hand, this look is simple yet effective.
  • Robin Hood: If you prefer action and adventure, don a green tunic and feathered cap, and become the legendary outlaw.

Remember, it's not just about the clothes—embodying the character's personality adds an extra layer of fun. So, whether you're twirling in your ball gown, warily avoiding wolves, or leading your band of merry men, these fairy tale characters offer a wealth of thematic dressing ideas for your next costume party.

Dress Up as a Famous Historical Figure

Switching gears a bit, let's take a trip back in time. What better way to make a grand entrance at a costume party than to dress up as a famous historical figure? It's a fantastic way to combine your interest in history with your love for thematic dressing ideas.

  • George Washington: A tricorn hat, powdered wig, and colonial attire can transform you into the first President of the United States.
  • Cleopatra: As the last Pharaoh of Egypt, Cleopatra's style is unmistakable. A white sheath dress, gold jewelry, and an iconic asymmetrical bob can help you capture her essence.
  • Amelia Earhart: With a leather flight jacket, scarf, and aviator hat, you can pay tribute to this pioneering aviator.

These are just a few examples, of course. The pages of history books are filled with inspiring individuals, offering countless possibilities for your costume party. So why not combine learning and fun, and make a statement with a historical figure costume?

Get Inspired by Comic Book Heroes

How about injecting some action-packed fun into your thematic dressing ideas? If you're a fan of comic books or superhero movies, this one's for you:

  • Superman: A red and blue suit with a signature "S" on the chest, and don’t forget the slicked-back hair! You'll be ready to save the day in no time.
  • Wonder Woman: With her star-spangled skirt, red bustier, and golden headband, Wonder Woman's costume is a bold and empowering choice.
  • Spider-Man: A red and blue suit with web patterns and a mask that covers the entire face will make you look like you've just stepped out of a comic book.

Comic book heroes are a treasure trove of thematic dressing ideas. They offer an array of colorful, unique, and instantly recognizable costumes that are sure to be a hit at any costume party. Plus, who wouldn't want to feel like they have superpowers, even if just for a night?

Incorporate Animals and Mythical Creatures

Unleashing your inner beast or magical creature can be a thrilling addition to your thematic dressing ideas. Here are some options to consider:

  • Lion: A golden mane, furry suit, and a wild roar to match. You'll be the king or queen of the jungle — and the party!
  • Unicorn: A rainbow mane, a sparkling horn, and an all-white outfit. This costume idea is a magical and enchanting choice, sure to make you stand out.
  • Mermaid: A shimmery tail, seashell accessories, and wavy hair. This aquatic outfit can make you feel like you've just emerged from the ocean's depths.

Whether you want to embody the strength of a beast or the mystery of a mythical creature, these thematic dressing ideas will add a fantastic twist to your costume party. After all, who said costumes are only for Halloween?

Try out Sci-Fi and Fantasy Roles

Let's take a journey to galaxies far, far away. Thematic dressing ideas from the realms of science fiction and fantasy are boundless. Here are some classic, yet timeless suggestions:

  1. Star Wars Characters: Whether you're a fan of the dark side or the light, there's a Star Wars character for you. Do you fancy being a Jedi like Luke Skywalker, a Sith Lord like Darth Vader, or a wise Yoda? Maybe a droid like R2-D2 or BB-8? Just remember, the force will be with you, always.
  2. Harry Potter Characters: From the magical halls of Hogwarts, there are plenty of characters to choose from. Would you be the brave Harry Potter, the wise Hermione Granger, or the loyal Ron Weasley? Or perhaps you fancy the dark allure of Lord Voldemort or Bellatrix Lestrange? Just don't forget your wand!
  3. Lord of the Rings Characters: Journey to Middle Earth with a Lord of the Rings inspired costume. Would you be a noble elf like Legolas, a brave hobbit like Frodo, or a wise wizard like Gandalf? Or perhaps a menacing Ringwraith or Gollum? The choice is yours.

These science fiction and fantasy themed costumes can transport you to different worlds, making your costume party an event to remember. So, which universe will you choose to explore?

Opt for a Classic Horror Character

Do you crave a bit of thrill, or perhaps you want to send a chill down your friends' spines? With thematic dressing ideas from classic horror characters, you can be sure to stand out at your costume party. Here are some spooktacular suggestions:

  1. Classic Vampires: From Bram Stoker's Dracula to the modern vampires of Twilight, vampire costumes never go out of style. With a pair of fangs, a dark cape, and a sophisticated demeanor, you could be the most elegant creature of the night.
  2. Zombies: Thanks to shows like "The Walking Dead," zombies are a popular choice. With some make-up skills, you can turn into a frightening walker, ready to roam the party.
  3. Iconic Slasher Villains: Characters like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, or Michael Myers are known for their chilling appearances. Pick one of them, and you're sure to make a terrifying impression.

Remember, the key to a successful horror character costume is in the details - the right make-up, the perfect props, and of course, staying in character. So, are you ready to give your friends a fright?

Explore Creative DIY Options

Are you feeling crafty, or perhaps you're on a budget? Fear not! DIY costumes offer an unlimited range of thematic dressing ideas. When you create your own costume, you get to show off your creativity while making a unique statement. Here are some DIY costume ideas that you might find inspiring:

  1. Cardboard Robot: With some cardboard boxes, silver paint, and a bit of imagination, you can transform yourself into a futuristic robot. This is not only a fun project but also an eco-friendly one!
  2. Homemade Superhero: Why not create your own superhero? Choose your powers, design your logo, and make a cape out of an old blanket. The sky's the limit!
  3. Fruit Costumes: A fun, light-hearted choice. Dress up as your favorite fruit using painted clothes and handmade accessories. Imagine showing up as a bunch of grapes or a slice of watermelon!

In the end, the best part about DIY costumes is the process of making them. It's all about letting your creativity flow and having fun. So, why not give it a shot? You might just surprise yourself with what you can come up with.

If you're excited about dressing up for your next costume party and want to explore more unique and creative ideas, check out the workshop 'Queering Fashion: From Dress Codes to Wardrobe Hacks' by Lou Croff Blake. This workshop will help you discover innovative ways to express yourself through fashion and inspire you to think outside the box when it comes to costume party attire.